Pico de Gallo

By Alexandra Caspero on May 16, 2023

The best pico de gallo recipe! If you are looking for a fresh homemade salsa recipe, you must try this one. With only 5 ingredients, you’ll want to make this pico de gallo recipe all year.

I love salsa. That should be no secret– I can roughly 100 pounds of tomatoes each year with my homemade canning salsa and make a batch of either my mango salsa, creamy jalapeno salsa, salsa verde or salsa roja each week.

And now I’m coming to you with this fresh pico de gallo recipe. If you love salsa and want a fresh-tasting sauce to put on everything from tacos to burritos to egg sandwiches, then this is the homemade pico for you.

With two options depending on your texture preference, you are going to love this pico de gallo salsa recipe. Here’s how to make it.

Fresh Tomatoes For Salsa

What’s the difference between pico de gallo vs salsa?

Pico de gallo is always made fresh, with tomatoes, lime juice, cilantro and usually jalapeno peppers. While pico de gallo is a type of salsa, it is usually made with fresh ingredients. While tomatoes are a typical ingredient, technically salsa can be made with any ingredient like mangos or jalapenos or tomatillos.

Homemade Pico And Chips In A Bowl

Pico de Gallo Ingredients

To make this healthy pico de gallo recipe, you only need 5 ingredients:

  • Tomatoes
  • Jalapeno
  • Cilantro
  • Red Onion
  • Lime Juice
  • Salt & pepper

Substitutions and Notes

Red onion is my preferred onion for this recipe, but you can also use a white onion or a sweet yellow onion if you’d like. I don’t recommend shallots in place of onion.

If you want a mild pico de gallo, you can omit the jalapeno pepper altogether. You can add more jalapeno peppers depending on how much spice you like in your salsa. Or, keep the seeds and the membrane. That’s where most of the spice comes from in the peppers.

Beefsteak tomatoes are my favorite for this recipe, but you can use other tomatoes if you’d like. Roma tomatoes and plum tomatoes are a great pick when tomatoes aren’t in season, as are cherry tomatoes. If you want to use cherry tomatoes, I’d recommend halving the tomatoes or quartering them if they are large.

I don’t add any extra spices to this pico de gallo as it doesn’t need it! For fresh, delicious salsa, you need good ingredients. Because this is a fresh salsa recipe, it will only taste as good as the ingredients that you use. The best salsa is made of tomatoes, a jalapeno pepper, cilantro, lime juice and salt. Some people add in things like cumin and garlic, but I don’t think you need any of that!

Ingredients For Pico De Gallo In A Bowl

How to Make the Best Pico de Gallo

Chop the tomatoes

Core and chop the tomatoes. I usually use beefsteak tomatoes, but any tomato can be used.

Mix everything together

Add the chopped tomatoes, jalapenos, cilantro, red onion, and lime juice into a large bowl. Add in salt and pepper, then toss together and taste, adding more salt as needed. I typically start with 1/4 teaspoon salt and then add from there — 1/2 teaspoon is usually right. Chopped Tomatoes And Cilantro In A Bowl

Food Processor Directions

If you want to use a food processor, then you can if you don’t want to chop the ingredients by hand. It will have the same flavor, but a different texture. Food Processor Salsa In A Bowl With Chips

Uses for Pico de Gallo

Anywhere you use salsa, you can use pico de gallo! I prefer it best with tortilla chips, but this works in any of your favorite Mexican dishes. I really enjoy it in bowls, in burritos and tacos and in eggs. I really like to saute a little and then add in scrambled eggs for a quick breakfast recipe.

This salsa is also the key ingredient in my chili cheese dip. I often use store-bought for ease, but if you have leftover pico de gallo, I highly recommend making that dip! It’s a great appetizer and one of my go-to recipes for summer entertaining.

Bowl Of Pico De Gallo Rice With Beans And Peppers

Tips for Success

The difference between regular homemade pico and good pico de gallo is the quality of the ingredients. In-season tomatoes make the difference, and I highly recommend choosing the best quality tomatoes.

Other than using good tomatoes, you’ll want to salt this salsa appropriately. I didn’t add in a specific amount of salt as I find that some people want less or more salt in salsa, but this is really one that you need to salt to taste.

I typically use about 1/2 teaspoon total for this recipe, but you may need more or less depending on the quality of your tomatoes. If you find that this salsa doesn’t pop, make sure you are using enough salt and lime juice! Acid helps to bring out the salt flavor, so if you’ve added salt, then you might need more lime juice for balance.

Finely Minced Tomatoes For Salsa Recipe

Pico de Gallo Variations

For a spicier salsa recipe, I recommend using serrano peppers or even habanero peppers in place of the jalapeño pepper.

Like with my salsa verde recipe, you can also add avocado to this recipe if you want a creamy texture. Or, you can add in black beans if you want a heartier salsa.

Bowl Of Finely Chopped Fresh Salsa With Chips

Can you use a blender or food processor for this recipe?

Yes! If you don’t want to chop all of the ingredients, you can use a blender or food processor. This will make it more of a salsa that you see in many Mexican restaurants, but it doesn’t have the same texture and fresh chopped pico de gallo.

Using a mini chopper is a great option for people who don’t want to chop but don’t want to miss out on a delicious fresh salsa.

Fresh Salsa Recipe In A Bowl With Chips

How to Store Pico de Gallo

This salsa will stay fresh in an airtight container for 2-3 days in the fridge, but it’s best the day it’s made. I don’t recommend freezing this one and it’s not written for canning. If you are looking for a homemade salsa recipe for canning, then I’d recommend my Master Canning recipe instead.

Bowl Of Ingredients For Fresh Salsa

Frequently Asked Questions

What does pico de Gallo mean?


Translated from Spanish, pico de Gallo literally means “beak of rooster” or rooster’s beak.

How is pico different from salsa?


Pico de Gallo is a type of salsa, made with fresh ingredients like tomato, cilantro, fresh lime juice, and jalapeno peppers.

More Salsa Recipes

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Fresh Salsa Recipe In A Bowl With Chips

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Fresh Salsa Recipe In A Bowl With Chips

Pico de Gallo

  • Author: Alex Caspero
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: ~2 cups
  • Category: salsa, sauce, side dish, snack
  • Method: no cook
  • Cuisine: American, Tex-Mex, Mexican Inspired
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

The best pico de gallo recipe! If you are looking for a fresh homemade salsa recipe, you must try this one. With only 5 ingredients, you’ll want to make this pico de gallo recipe all year long.


  • Author: Alex Caspero
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: ~2 cups
  • Category: salsa, sauce, side dish, snack
  • Method: no cook
  • Cuisine: American, Tex-Mex, Mexican Inspired
  • Diet: Vegan
  • Author: Alex Caspero
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: ~2 cups
  • Category: salsa, sauce, side dish, snack
  • Method: no cook
  • Cuisine: American, Tex-Mex, Mexican Inspired
  • Diet: Vegan
Scale

Ingredients

  • 3 large tomatoes
  • 1 jalapeno, minced
  • 1/3 cup finely diced red onion
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 handful of cilantro, finely chopped
  • salt and pepper

Instructions

  1. Remove the core from the tomatoes (see how-to here) and dice.
  2. Combine all of the ingredients along with the chopped tomatoes into a bowl. Season with salt and pepper– I usually start with 1/2 teaspoon salt and go from there.

Notes

3 large tomatoes is about 2 1/2 cups chopped tomatoes. I usually use beefsteak tomatoes, but if you’d like to use a different tomato, then it’s roughly 2 1/2 cups of chopped tomatoes.

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Meet Alex Caspero

Alex Caspero is a Registered Dietitian, New York Times Bestselling Chef, and mom of two. She aims to cut through the nutrition noise by providing real-life, nourishing tips for body and mind. Learn more about Alex.

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    1. Danny
      July 15, 2023 AT 7:47 pm

      Good zest. I’ll be making again.






    2. Lenny
      July 15, 2023 AT 11:24 am

      It pairs well with margaritas lol






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